Even before Scott Walker’s convincing recall victory earlier this month, his Democratic opponent was telling Wisconsinites that Walker had become more rockstar than governor. Now that Walker has beaten back the recall challenge, his star has only grown brighter to Republicans.
Walker is taking a victory lap in Washington D.C. this weekend, appearing at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast Thursday, and the Faith & Freedom Coalition Conference later in the week, where he will be presented with the group’s Courage in Leadership Award.
Here’s a recap of the adulation heaped on Walker since his win:
Walker’s win made him “the instant frontrunner for the GOP vice presidential nod,” Mark Thiessen and countless other pundits surmised after Walker’s win.
Even if he’s not on the ticket, Walker should land a high-profile role in the Republican National Convention — even the party chairman himself hinted as much. “I’m going to do what’s best for winning the presidency, and having a convention with bold leaders and great ideas is something that I intend to do,” Reince Priebus said. “Scott Walker is in the category of bright, shining stars with big ideas in this country.”
Why not go all the way: Chris Cilizza at the Washington Post said Walker’s victory “will continue to bolster the idea of him as a national candidate — heading into either the 2016 or 2020 election.”
He certainly has Mitt Romney’s backing: The presumptive GOP presidential nominee trumpeted Walker’s win in a campaign statement on the night of the recall.
“Tonight’s results will echo beyond the borders of Wisconsin,” Romney said in the statement. “Governor Walker has shown that citizens and taxpayers can fight back — and prevail - against the runaway government costs imposed by labor bosses.”
That weekend, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels appeared on “Fox News Sunday”, where he said Walker’s solidified that public employee unions should no longer exist at all: “I think, really, government works better without them.”
At the Texas Republican convention this past weekend, former senator and ex-presidential candidate Rick Santorum invoked Walker. “This election’s about whether we have leaders who will tell us the truth,” Santorum said, referring to the national presidential contest. “Well, we got a great shot in the arm from Gov. Walker and his courage to stand up and face the problems.”
In a further sign of Walker’s potential appeal, another Republican in his own primary race is seeking to harness the brand: Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, who is facing a right-wing challenge in late June. For his part, Hatch took to the floor last week, the day after the recall, to praise Walker and to lambaste public employee unions: